Montgomery School Board Candidate
► Maria Spina
Math specialist, New Brunswick Public Schools. Education: Nova Southeastern University, BS in psychology; Georgian Court University, MS in education; Harvard, Ed.M in school leadership.
The return to full-time, in-person learning. The pandemic response of hybrid and virtual instruction was a swift and necessary pivot last year. As our students return to in-person learning, they will have had varied experiences academically, emotionally, and socially.
Our teachers, counselors, and staff will do their best to meet the needs of every student. We should provide professional development on how to best support students and each other during re-entry, how to fill gaps caused by pandemic schooling, and ensure the learning loss inevitably experienced by each student will not negatively impact their ability.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion. We need to do more in: Cultural responsiveness training for staff and students; Recruitment, support, and retention of teachers who identify as a person of color.
As an educator for 17 years, I know about curriculum development, instructional methodology, school law, and contract negotiations. I will support administrators, teachers, and parents. I will listen, seek varied viewpoints, and apply my professional and parental lenses to every aspect of this role.
Why running for office?
I am a “champion for students.” With three children in the district I am, as the saying goes, in the thick of it. I have always been on the side of students, and encourage older students to learn to advocate for themselves.
School and the community:
It is important to keep our community informed so they can speak positively about our schools to people outside of our community. We should always look for ways to improve transparency and community involvement.
COVID-19 and school:
Some school districts chose to return students to classrooms full time last September. These schools followed strict guidance from federal, state, and local health departments and did not have a significant increase in cases among students and teachers. That said, it is important to keep our children healthy and safe. Our scientific and medical communities have the expertise. We should follow their recommendations. Everyone should be masked indoors in public spaces regardless of variants and vaccination status. ■